ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Poverty and Deprivation in India

Building on the asset-based indicator, this paper estimates deprivation in India. The results suggest that there is a difference in the regional ranking of poverty based on the long-term picture of vulnerability provided by the asset-based indicator of deprivation. It also shows that while consumption poverty could identify the poor as a group, it cannot identify who among the poor are suffering from long-term deprivation, thus seeking a prompt policy attention.

Rural–Urban Disparity in the Standard of Living across States of India

The rural–urban disparity in the standard of living in India is estimated on the basis of per capita consumption or use of non-durable goods, durable consumer goods, and house and living facilities enjoyed by the population of the rural and urban sectors in major states of India in 2011–12. This estimate shows that the rural–urban disparity in the standard of living is the highest in Jharkhand and Odisha and the lowest in Punjab and Kerala. The interstate variation in rural–urban disparity is negatively correlated with per capita state domestic product, degree of urbanisation, level of agricultural development, and per capita amount of remittances received by rural households. It is positively correlated with the percentage of state population below the poverty line.

Time for a Massive Fiscal Stimulus

Only bold interventions by the government can ensure a quick recovery of the economy.

Present Crises of Capitalism and Its Reforms

In exploring whether capitalism is an appropriate economic system for a country like India, this paper finds that its future prospects and long-run viability, in general, are delimited by the accentuating threats of ecological imbalance and growing inequality that it brings with itself.

A Low Growth, No Employment and No Hope Budget for ‘Aspirational India’

The Union Budget of 2020 is conspicuous by its non-recognition of the ongoing and widely discussed slowdown of the economy, let alone its impact on the different sections of the people. Given the negative growth in employment and consumption in the rural economy, the budget seems like a cruel joke on the plight of the poor, in general, and women, in particular. Instead of measures for boosting the aggregate demand, especially in the rural economy, the government has exhibited a track record of aiding the process of wealth creation for corporate capital and throwing a few crumbs to the middle class. What comes out crudely and sharply is the ideological predilections of the regime in power.

Financial Reform: Doubtful Case

Saving, Investment and Growth in India by Prema-Chandra Athukorala and Kunal Sen; Oxford University Press, 2002; pp 181, Rs 495 (hard bound).

Food Poverty and Consumption among Landless Labour Households

In this study of food insecurity among India's poor, the food intake of landless agricultural labour households was measured twice, to find variations between slack and peak seasons. Within and between wet and dry villages the 'caste' differences in food intake between backward castes (BCs) and scheduled castes (SCs) were examined. Findings showed that the majority of sample households survived on cereals, and had only one main meal per day, a stark indicator of food insecurity. Female-headed households were the most adversely affected 'poverty group' in the study villages irrespective of caste. The landless peoples' lack of basic needs (clothing, shelter, household equipment, and health care) revealed much more of their utter destitution than conventional food intake.

Sustainable Food Production and Consumption

Current methods of food production and consumption are imposing a severe burden on the environment and the constituent natural resources. New production and processing methods driven by biotechnology (genetically modified organisms (GMOs), hormones and other growth promoters) affect food safety. Are alternative more sustainable patterns of food production and consumption feasible? The paper examines some consumer initiatives in Asia and in the UK to examine how the consumer as a 'market force' can proactively influence the food industry, thereby making sustainable practices the norm rather than the exception. It also looks at the significance of empowering women, as consumers, with awareness and education on food safety, nutrition and its dependence on sustainable practices to exert a 'pull' on the market. Finally the paper discusses a multi-pronged approach involving, besides consumer pressure, policy changes, regulatory efforts and economic instruments to steer food production and consumption in a more sustainable direction.
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